How Sports Vision Training Can Help You Ski Like a Pro
Research shows that more than 80% of what we learn comes via the visual system. That percentage goes up even more when you are talking about sports, because the eyes direct the movements of the body. Sports vision training can help you ski like a pro.
What is Sport Vision Training?
Sports vision training is a regimen of visual exercises aimed at improving the visual skills necessary to excel at various sports. Through a series of specific and comprehensive tests, a sports vision optometrist can determine the functioning of each of your visual skills.
Sports vision training programs develop skills like hand-eye coordination, visual reaction time, dynamic visual activity, peripheral vision, eye tracking and focusing.
Necessary Visual Skills for Skiing
Excelling at skiing requires several visual skills. When these skills are improved, they can make you a better skier:
- Contrast sensitivity – the ability to distinguish between an object and its background. This is critical for skiing. You must be able to see every shadow in the snow, so you know when to turn and anticipate changes in the snow or mountain conditions.
- Depth perception – the ability to quickly and accurately judge the distance and speed of objects. Good awareness of space is so important when skiing. It allows for higher speed and increased safety.
- Reaction time – how quickly a person perceives an anticipated visual event and how quickly they can react to that stimulus. The faster you see it, the faster you react, the faster you move.
- Peripheral awareness – the ability to see things out of the corner of your eye. Skiers need to be able to see obstacles and other skiers at the edges of their visual field. When we are stressed or our adrenaline is running high, we tend to shut down our peripheral vision. Being awareness of obstacles and other skiers can give you a competitive edge and boost safety.
- Gross visual-motor skills – the ability to coordinate is fundamental for taking every turn exactly as planned. When your vision and motor skills are perfectly aligned you can be in complete control of your movements.
- Focus control – training your eyes to maintain simultaneous focus and quickly shift focus from near to far. As you speed downhill, what was far away a second ago is suddenly right in front of you.
There are many visual skills that apply to sports, and they are all essential. Learning your strengths and weaknesses in each of the visual skills listed above and following the right plan can make you a better and safer skier.
Contact Sports Vision Centre at Ancaster Family Eyecare to book an evaluation of your visual skills and to learn more about sports vision training.Our practice serves patients from Hamilton area, Burlington, Brantford, and Cambridge, Ontario and surrounding communities.